“For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”James 3:16 NLT
2Co 12:14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
Paul, speaking to the church at Corinth, says he is preparing to visit them a third time. And he assures them that he will be of no burden to them on his trip, rather he comes to help not be helped. As the planter of the Corinthian church, Paul spoke to the believers there as a father toward his children in his pledge that he was coming to assist them.
What an example Paul is in this passage, and many others, to Christians today. In our hustle-bustle lives, too often we don’t make a sacrifice of our time or resources to assist our brothers and sisters. There’s an old saying that one should stop and smell the roses. Roses wilt and fade with the passage of time; so do each of us. The next time you have the opportunity, “take the time to smell the roses” in the form of giving some needed support to a brother or sister in your life. The ‘scent’ you’ll receive will be well worth the sacrifice.
1Co 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
Tonight’s lesson was on the Book of Ester chapters 4-7. Our main focus was on Ester’s willingness to sacrifice her self, her own life, for the good of her people. In practical application, ought we not also be willing to sacrifice for the Brethren? I am not speaking necessarily of our actual lives here, rather time, resources, etc. It is a very good question that we should each consider in our own lives.
The example that sticks out in my mind best was what if a Brother or Sister were to call and ask for your time, needing to talk or council of some sort. How would we answer them? Obviously, if we were in a dire, emergency type of situation we would have to deny the request or at least delay it. But if we were doing something for ourselves, say, for me, planning on riding the Harley out through the country side for a while, it would be terribly selfish of me to take that ride rather than help my Brother or Sister. What if I were to go on that ride and the person had a need that was so urgent to their faith that my not coming to their aid caused them to fall away from the church, perhaps because of their need coupled with my selfishness? Oh, how I shudder at the thought!
We live in a very fast paced society with, for many of us, little real leisure time. But when someone is in need of our time, how much more value it that time to them than it is to us? I believe that is a question we all would do well to contemplate deeply. It really isn’t that hard to find a little time for someone that is in need. And the reward from God, for allowing Him to use us as a tool for His purpose, to uplift one His children, is of much more value than any leisure time item we could possibly have on our agenda.